ALA Executive Briefing
Dec. 14, 2012

Pentagon starts planning for potential budget cuts
The New York Times via Early Bird
After months of refusing to plan for how the Pentagon budget could or should be trimmed further, senior Defense Department officials have begun examining in earnest how the military would respond to automatic spending reductions if a budget deal eludes President Barack Obama and Congress past the end of the year.More

Pentagon to review perks for its leaders
The Washington Post
The Pentagon recently announced that it will examine whether its generals and admirals receive too many perks and said they should receive more ethics training earlier in their careers.More

Time running out on 'fiscal cliff' deal
The Washington Post
The contours of a deal to avert the year-end fiscal cliff are becoming increasingly clear. But progress has been slow, and time is running out for leaders to seal an agreement and sell it to restless lawmakers who so far have been given little information.More

Senate bill would cut 36,000 Defense Department civilian jobs
Federal Times
The Defense Department will be forced to cut up to 36,000 civilians from its workforce over the next five years if a provision in the Senate-passed 2013 Defense authorization bill becomes law.More

Philippines eyes greater US military presence
Agence France-Presse via ABS-CBN News
US and Philippine officials will met this past week to discuss expanding American presence in the Asian nation, a senior diplomat said, amid tensions with China over its claims to vast waters in the region.More

US food shopping out of sync with nutritional advice
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Many of our diets aren't what they should be. Americans eat fewer fruits and vegetables than Federal nutrition guidance recommends, and we over-consume fats, added sugars, and refined grains. Health professionals warn us that the less-healthful food choices are showing up on our waistlines and in our health, contributing to increasing cases of overweight and obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Knowing how far we stray from good dietary patterns, and whether the diets of certain segments of the population are more misaligned, can help in designing more effective programs and consumer education.More

Moms become digital food shoppers
A new generation of American mothers is turning to the internet and social media as part of their regular menu planning and food shopping, a new report has found. Moms as Food Shoppers, from Packaged Facts, the research firm, looked at the behavior of mothers before they went into the grocery store as well as analyzing their actions in-store.More

The 12 rules of grocery shopping for a happier Christmas-time
Grocery shopping seems easy enough. You go to a store, gather together the items you want to buy, pay for them at the checkout and leave. However, the holidays can be busy and stressful. The following are some rules to follow to make things better for you, your fellow shoppers and the grocery store employees as well.More

Consumers jump ship to competing providers
Progressive Grocer
In 2012, one in five consumers switched to a competing provider from a company they traditionally bought from, marking a 5 percent increase in this behavior from last year, according to Accenture's eighth annual Global Consumer Survey. Of those consumers who have switched, the study finds, 85 percent said the companies could have done something differently to retain their business.More

Macy's plans to keep its 800 stores open for 48-hours on the last weekend before Christmas
The Dallas Morning News
Macy's is staying open the entire weekend before Christmas. For the first time, it's planning to have almost all its 800 nationwide stores open from 7 a.m. Friday, Dec. 21 through midnight on Sunday, Dec. 23. Macy's first tried the day-and-night shopping idea in 2006 at its Queens Center store in New York and expanded it to 14 stores last year.More

More shoppers on Thanksgiving vs. Friday
Opening their doors and offering sales on Thanksgiving did more than give retailers an early start to the holiday shopping season — the holiday actually may have drawn more shoppers than "Black Friday."More

Retail and consumer products: A less stable environment ahead
National Retail Federation
By all indications, 2012 will be another year of lethargic growth, store closings and increased focus on everyday low prices by several major retailers, all which will have a significant impact on the entire retail landscape. Multichannel is key to survival for many. Online retailing also threatens existing store economics, measurement systems and incentives. As a result, financial metrics are changing, too. More

Starbucks to open 1,500 new stores in US by 2017
Chain Store Age
Starbucks Coffee Co. is moving ahead full-steam. The company recently announced accelerated global growth plans that include opening at least 1,500 stores in the United States during the next five years. Including Canada and South America in the mix, Starbucks expects to add a total of 3,000 new locations in its Americas region — and renovate thousands more — by 2017.More

Holiday shoppers celebrate Cyber Monday with record sales
Tampa Bay Times
Oh, how we love the peace, selection and convenience of online holiday shopping. Consumers spent a record $1.47 billion on Cyber Monday, according to the Internet data tracking firm comScore. It's also the second day so far this season that online sales topped $1 billion. The other was Black Friday, which rang up $1.04 billion in sales, a 28 percent increase.More

'Pet parents' to spend big this holiday season
Despite the uncertain state of the economy there is a standout group of big spenders this holiday season: pet owners. PetSmart's CEO Robert Moran said the company is grabbing a big share of that spending by selling "pet parents" products to help pets live longer. "We don't sell products, we sell solutions," said Moran.More

Beyond deals and discounts: How retailers are luring in holiday shoppers
Low prices are sure to draw in consumers during the ultra-competitive holiday shopping season. But cheap deals are hardly the only strategy being used by stores to woo consumers.More

Effective crowd management: Guidelines on how to maintain the safety and security of your customers, employees, store
National Retail Federation
NRF's Loss Prevention community has released its 2012 Effective Crowd Management Guidelines to address what retail stores and shopping centers should be prepared for when managing large crowds. In anticipation of what is expected to be one of the busiest holiday shopping season in years, the report can assist retailers in planning advanced measures to protect their stores, customers and employees.More

IDC releases preview of Top 10 Predictions for Retail Industry
Chain Store Age
The impact of omnichannel retail on the supply chain, customer experience and merchandise optimization is one of IDC Retail Insights' Top 10 Predictions for the Retail Industry in 2013.More

NRF: Return fraud to cost retailers $2.9 billion this holiday season
Chain Store Age
Retailers will lose an estimated $8.9 billion to return fraud this year, and $2.9 billion during the holiday season alone, according to the National Retail Federation's 2012 Return Fraud Survey. Overall, retailers estimate 4.6 percent of holiday returns are fraudulent.More

Report: Store opening plans for 2013 at a 4-year high
Chain Store Age
Store opening plans for 2013 are at a four-year high even as positive retail trends tempered with uncertain fiscal policies signal a cautious start to the new year, according to a recent report released by Jones Lang LaSalle.More

Tying it all together: Predictions for 2013 begin with a buzzword — convergence
While most retailers are focused on extracting every bit of revenue from the current calendar year, industry analysts are already looking ahead to identify the trends that will take root, the technologies that will be judged "top priority" and other changes in store for the retail landscape in 2013.More

UPS and FedEx raise shipping rates for 2013
Internet Retailer
United Parcel Service Inc. and FedEx Corp. will increase their rates for standard ground shipping — the most common shipping method used by online retailers to deliver goods to consumers — by an average of 4.9 percent next year after factoring in a one percentage point reduction in fuel surcharges, the companies say.More

Finally: Big boxes leverage mobile, social
Marketing Daily via MediaPost
A new survey from BDO reports that this holiday season, the largest retailers are getting the hang of both social and mobile, and working the brick-and-mortar angle to their own advantage. "Whether it's Best Buy, Target, Wal-Mart or Toys R Us, we're seeing that brick-and-mortar stores have learned to adapt and even embrace the mobile shopper," Stephen Wyss, partner in BDO's retail and consumer product practices, tells Marketing Daily. More

Michael Kors engages Internet dwellers via customizable holiday microsite
Luxury Daily
U.S. fashion house Michael Kors is encouraging consumers to fill their downtime on a just-for-fun microsite that asks users how they want to celebrate the holidays while the label subtly pushes ecommerce. The microsite asks users to finish the statement, "Celebrate with..." Michael Kors is incorporating an ecommerce push into the microsite through offering specific products that correspond to submitted words and letting users view the entire selection of gift items via a pop-up page.More

More than a soft drink, Coke is an array of goods
The New York Times
December is Coke time, by dint of decades of advertising for Coca-Cola featuring the "Sundblom Santa" — illustrations by the artist Haddon Sundblom that have helped shape the popular perception of Santa Claus. The seasonal connection has taken on new meaning this month as the Coca-Cola Company has joined the home-shopping giant HSN for what is being described as the channel's most extensive partnership with a packaged-goods marketer.More

Why many Americans aren't spending more this holiday season
Despite the public being more upbeat on the economy than it was a year ago, the CNBC All-America Economic Survey found holiday spending will be virtually flat as uncertainty and "fiscal cliff" concerns weigh on consumers.More

Air Force bans some early-morning alcohol sales in Germany
Stars and Stripes
The Air Force has prohibited the sale of packaged alcohol between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m. on installations in the Kaiserslautern Military Community, amid concerns about alcohol-related incidents. According to a memorandum dated Dec. 7, and signed by 86th Airlift Wing Commander Brig. Gen. Charles K. Hyde, the ban affects the sale of all beer, wine and liquor at 24-hour on-base shoppettes. There are two in the Kaiserslautern area: the new "Express" store on Ramstein, and the shoppette on Pulaski Barracks, which is run by the Army.More

A sneak peek at convenience store trends in the New Year
Convenience Store Decisions
Whether it's implementing emerging technology or promoting a host of new foodservice items, 2013 promises to be an exciting year for convenience stores. The following are some of the trends that are likely to have a significant impact on c-store retailers in the coming year. More

The tea leaves of holiday giving
Retail's BIG Blog
When it comes to gifts, regardless of the season, there's no question that the age old saying "it's the thought that counts" rings true. But this holiday season, it looks like gift-giving might actually be back in fashion after taking a hiatus the last few years. And from what we can see, shoppers aren't skimping on presents for others or themselves.More

Amazon takes on same-day delivery: How can small businesses compete?
"Everybody in retail is terrified of Amazon," research analyst Sucharita Mulpuru recently told the New York Times. And with good reason. Having expanded from books to nearly everything from dog food to digital e-readers, the online giant has taken another step to increase the menace for retailers. More

Retailers tout layaways, but survey finds a decline
Houston Chronicle
Major retailers say their extended and cheaper layaway programs successfully spurred holiday shopping across the nation this year, contradicting several surveys that found the opposite. More

Naval Medical Center San Diego and Naval Base San Diego host 4th-annual Wounded Warrior Holiday Salute
America's Navy
Nearly 300 wounded warriors and their families were celebrated during the fourth-annual Wounded Warrior Holiday Salute luncheon at Naval Medical Center San Diego on Dec. 6. The event included music from the Commander, Navy Region Southwest band while the wounded, ill and injured (WII) troops were greeted by California Congresswoman Susan Davis, former UFC champion Chuck Liddell, members of the San Diego Padres, Charger Girls and dozens of senior military leadership. NBSD Commanding Officer Capt. Winton Smith emphasized expressing gratitude during the opening of the event.More

2013 scholarships for Military Children Program

The 2013 scholarship program opened on Dec. 3 and will remain open through Feb. 22, 2013. The program, administered by Fisher House Foundation, is primarily funded by donations from ALA member companies. Please see memo, (click here), for details about the program.More